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All-Around Guide to CRM Testing

 Guide to CRM Testing - ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft has been providing software testing services for 33 years and CRM testing services for 14 years.

CRM Testing: Summary

  • CRM testing usually includes functional, integration, performance, security, usability testing, and regression testing in the course of CRM evolution.
  • Feasibility of test automation: beneficial for CRM testing projects that last more than 6 months.
  • CRM testing team: QA manager, test engineers; optional - a UX researcher, a test automation architect, a test automation engineer.

ScienceSoft helps customers validate smooth functioning of their CRM solutions by providing high quality and cost effective CRM testing services.

CRM Testing Setup Plan

A CRM testing setup plan depends on the preferred sourcing model (in-house, partial or complete outsourcing), the current SDLC stage of your CRM project, and the system’s specific requirements. Summing up the vast experience in CRM testing, ScienceSoft shares some common stages to go through.

1. CRM testing process design

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

  • A QA manager should be assigned to validate that each CRM requirement is clear, measurable, and complete, which will facilitate the development of CRM test cases.

Expert tip: ScienceSoft’s QA managers typically opt for designing CRM requirements in the form of user stories.

  • Representatives of each CRM user group need to take part in the requirements specification design to pave the way for efficient functional and usability testing.
  • A KPI set for CRM testing should be drawn up. It can include the KPIs like tests’ execution time, the number of created and updated test cases, defects rejected by the development team, requirements covered by test cases, test automation rate (if applicable), and others.
  • An optimal schedule for the collaboration between CRM testing and development teams should be outlined.

2. CRM testing preparation

Preparation for the CRM testing process will differ based on the sourcing model you opt for: in-house CRM testing or outsourced CRM testing.

2.1. Getting ready for in-house CRM testing

Duration: Up to 4 weeks.

If you plan to perform CRM testing in-house, your QA manager should:

  • Design a CRM test strategy and plan the required project efforts.
  • Gather a CRM testing team.
  • Consider hiring additional testing talents to introduce optimal CRM test automation or handle the specifics of a relevant CRM provider.

In case of a long-term CRM development project with at least 30-40% of planned test automation coverage from the entire testing scope, you need to assign a test automation lead to outline the test scenarios best fitting automation, design a test automation architecture, choose and configure relevant test automation tools and frameworks.

Tatiana Bessonova

Tatiana Bessonova, Test Manager and QA Consultant, provides some tips for CRM testing:

I advise considering automation for CRM testing when the CRM development process is planned to take more than 6 months. Our best practice for CRM testing (either custom or platform-based) is to automate compatibility testing and data quality validation, and we should remember that performance testing can’t be done manually.

Besides, ScienceSoft’s test engineers run automated regression testing after each CRM software change (customization of out-of-the-box features, introduction of new custom features or integration with third-party apps, etc.)

 

ScienceSoft recommends including the following testing types into your CRM test plan:

  • Functional testing. Functional testing comprises the majority of the CRM testing scope. It checks whether all the required functions are present in the CRM solution and enable flawless workflows for each user role. With platform-based CRM solutions, it’s also important to validate that configurations and customizations don’t disrupt the app functioning.
  • Integration testing. CRM’s business value significantly relies on its capability of data sharing with other enterprise applications (e.g., ERP and financial systems, an email server, a data warehouse). CRM integration testing validates that your customer data is complete, remains intact during data transfer, the introduced changes are visualized in all the connected systems.
  • Performance testing. Performance testing checks CRM behavior under continuous and peak load, measures the effects of multiple users working with CRM simultaneously: loading speed, response time, the maximum number of users.
  • Security testingCRM testing includes vulnerability assessment, role-based access control validation, and compliance testing to ensure the security of sensitive customer data and compliance with applicable regulatory standards (GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, GLBA, etc.).
  • Usability testingValidates the intuitive and convenient arrangement of CRM’s UI elements, content layout, and the number of usage steps with regard to the need of all CRM user groups and established usability standards and metrics.

2.2. Vendor selection for outsourced CRM testing

Duration: Up to 12 weeks.

To choose a relevant CRM testing vendor, you should:

  • Look for vendors with QA certifications like ISTQB or CSTE, vendors offering services compliant with ISO and IEC standards.
  • Look through the vendors’ portfolios for CRM testing projects with similar prerequisites.
  • Check if the vendor has enough resources to meet your CRM application’s scale.
  • Prepare a detailed request for information (RFI) and distribute it among the shortlisted CRM testing vendors. Based on the vendors’ responses, further shortlist 3-5 providers best corresponding to your CRM testing needs.
  • Request CRM testing cost estimate and proposal from the preselected vendors to make an informed decision on CRM testing ROI.
  • Negotiate SLA and CRM testing costs and sign a contract with the chosen vendor.

3. CRM testing launch

Duration: Up to 2 weeks.

To start the CRM testing process, an outsourced test team or an in-house one:

  • Sets up and configures the test environment.
  • Starts developing test cases and test scripts.
  • Prepares CRM test data.

Note: For platform-based CRM solutions, a relevant test environment should be obtained from your CRM provider.

Consider Professional CRM Testing Services

With 20 years of experience in QA consulting and 14 years in CRM delivery, ScienceSoft offers CRM testing services by QA professionals who are well-versed in CRM specifics, CRM testing best practices, efficient test automation frameworks and tools.

CRM testing consulting

To help you knowingly plan and implement a CRM testing project, ScienceSoft consultants:

  • Analyze your CRM app’s requirements and specifics.
  • Advise on an optimal sourcing model, considering the existing QA level and human resources’ skills.
  • Provide a tailored CRM testing plan.
  • Develop a tailored KPI set to regularly measure the CRM testing advance.
  • Perform analysis and mitigation of potential CRM testing issues.
Get a CRM testing consultation

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

ScienceSoft CRM testing experts:

  • Validate smooth CRM functioning and its integration into your company’s IT environment.
  • Verify your CRM data robustness and required usability.
  • Check the CRM solution’s resilience to peak and continuous load.
  • Ascertain CRM’s undisrupted functioning after any introduced changes.
  • Promptly integrate automated testing into the CI/CD pipeline (within 4 weeks).
  • Provide reusable automated regression test suites for continuous testing.
Outsource CRM testing

Why ScienceSoft

  • 33 years in software testing and 21 years in test automation.
  • 14 years in CRM testing services.
  • ISTQB-certified QA engineers.
  • 730+ successful testing projects since 2010.
  • Standardized defects description, test cases design, and test reporting in accordance with ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119-3:2013.

ScienceSoft as a reliable software testing provider

Our cooperation with ScienceSoft was a result of a competition with another testing company where the focus was not only on quantity of testing, but very much on quality and the communication with the testers. ScienceSoft came out as the clear winner.

We have worked with the team in very close cooperation ever since and value the professional as well as flexible attitude towards testing.

Roderick Schipper, CTO, helpLine B.V.

ScienceSoft’s Hallmark Projects in CRM Testing

CRM Testing for an Automotive Enterprise Software Provider

CRM Testing for an Automotive Enterprise Software Provider

ScienceSoft ran automated testing of the Customer’s CRM solution, thus helping the Customer deliver a competitive product, a tailored customer and vehicle relationship system, to its proprietary suite of enterprise solutions for the automotive industry.

Managed Testing of a CRM Solution for US Multi-Industry Corporation

Managed Testing of a CRM Solution for US Multi-Industry Corporation

ScienceSoft tested the Customer’s CRM apps based on Microsoft Dynamics 365. Careful testing helped the Customer create end users’ profiles and manage them quicker and more effectively, facilitate the communication with their colleagues from different industries and departments, provide customers with cross-industry bonuses, thus, improve customer retention.

Typical Roles in Our CRM Testing Team

ScienceSoft's CRM testing teams usually include the following roles:

QA manager

  • Helps design CRM requirements in a testable way.
  • Develops the CRM test strategy and plan with regard to the type of your CRM and its requirements.
  • Decides on test management software.
  • Manages a CRM test team, guides and regularly improves the testing process.

Test engineer

  • Analyses the CRM requirements specification to understand the needs of different CRM user groups.
  • Designs, executes, and maintains CRM test cases.
  • Reports found defects.

UX researcher

Note: CRM system’s usability determines its future user adoption, thus, a UX professional should be temporarily (for 1-4 weeks) involved in CRM testing.

  • Carries out interviews with the CRM user groups’ representatives to gather actual user requirements.
  • Checks the CRM UI’s prototype against user requirements and established usability standards for web and mobile apps.
  • Validates the logic of CRM UI elements’ composition.

For long-term CRM testing projects where test automation is used

Test automation architect

For 2-4 weeks, at the beginning of the project

  • Defines what test scenarios should be automated.
  • Designs the test automation architecture.
  • Selects and configures test automation tools and frameworks relevant to different CRM testing types.

Test automation engineer

  • Develops, executes, and maintains automated CRM test scripts.
  • Reports defects after analyzing the test results.
  • Regularly collaborates with the development team to improve test scripts’ granularity and maintainability.
  • Creates and maintains an automated regression test suite for continuous CRM testing within a CI/CD pipeline.

CRM Testing Sourcing Models

QA management and a test team are in-house

The option provides full control over the CRM testing process. Still, you need to make sure your test team is competent to cater to your CRM app specifics, introduce relevant test automation, and choose and configure relevant test automation frameworks, if applicable.

QA management is in-house, a test team is completely or partially external

This model can help optimize CRM testing costs via quick test team scalability and proven CRM testing skills of its members. Still, you’ll need a well-versed QA manager to design and supervise the testing process, assess the work progress of the vendor’s resources.

QA management and a test team are outsourced

This option offers a CRM testing process transparently organized, performed, and managed by a qualified provider based on the agreed KPIs. Pay special attention to vendor selection and resolve possible communication issues between the QA team, CRM stakeholders, and an implementation team.

Benefits of CRM Testing with ScienceSoft

Optimized testing costs

Sensible resource utilization alongside with effective methodologies and relevant automation share help deliver more with lower expenses.

Zero defects in production

A shift-left approach to testing and automated regression testing allows high coverage without postponing releases.

Fast onboarding

ScienceSoft’s testing experts will dive into your CRM project within 1 week to further deliver full-range testing activities.

Tools ScienceSoft Uses to Streamline CRM Testing

In our CRM testing projects, ScienceSoft's testing teams usually opt for the following testing tools.

Web application testing tools

Selenium
Protractor
Ranorex
TestComplete
XCUITest
SoapUI/ Soap UI Pro
Apache JMeter
Postman
REST Assured
Microsoft Visual Studio
LoadRunner
Silk Performer
RestSharp

Mobile application testing tools

Appium
Calabash
Espresso

Security testing tools

HCL AppScan
Nessus
Nmap
Burp Suite
Acunetix

Test automation infrastructure tools

Automation

Ansible
Puppet
Chef
Saltstack
HashiCorp Terraform
HashiCorp Packer

CI/CD tools

AWS Developer Tools
Azure DevOps
Google Developer Tools
GitLab CI/CD
Jenkins
TeamCity

Test management and defect tracking software

Atlassian Jira
Zephyr
Microsoft TFS
Azure DevOps Server
TestRail
Bugzilla
LogiGear
BMC Compuware
Micro Focus Quality Center

CRM Testing Costs

Factors determining the CRM testing scope:

  • Complexity of CRM workflows (defines the number of test cases).
  • CRM type (a custom solution requires much more testing time and effort compared with a platform-based CRM).
  • Number of user roles (each role requires additional testing effort and time).
  • Number of intended users (e.g., a CRM solution with more than 50 users requires performance testing).
  • Number of third-party integrations (e.g., other enterprise software or analytical tools).
  • Usability requirements.
  • Specific security and compliance requirements (e.g., HIPAA, GLBA, SOX, GDPR).
  • The number of customizations (for platform-based CRM systems).

Cost calculation factors specific for different sourcing models:

One-time CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

Continuous CRM testing outsourcing

  • CRM testing time based on:
    • Total number of test cases.
    • Development and maintenance efforts per test case.
    • Percentage of test automation.
    • Regression test coverage.
  • CRM test team members’ rates (based on their experience and competence).
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

In-house CRM testing

  • Fully burdened daily rate per QA professional.
  • Number of test engineers and test automation engineers (defined based on estimated CRM testing time)
  • Additional training for your test engineers, if required.
  • The cost of test environment and employed tools.

As an example, let’s take an iterative development project of a large enterprise-scale custom CRM solution (from 500 intended users) with the following characteristics:

  • 10-month long.
  • 2-week iterations with testing going in parallel.
  • 100 new test cases per iteration.
  • 60% coverage by automated tests.

The rough estimate for this testing project, including test team members’ rates, testing tools’ licenses and test environment costs, tests’ maintenance and regression testing efforts, will be $70,000.

About ScienceSoft

ScienceSoft is a global IT consulting, software development, and QA company headquartered in McKinney, TX, US. Our CRM testing best practices are refined by 14-year experience in CRM solutions delivery and 20 years in QA outsourcing services, which helps us provide professional CRM testing with optimal budget, time, and test automation involvement. Being ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certified, we rely on a mature quality management system and guarantee that cooperation with us does not pose any risks to our customers’ data security.